Why I left Flickr for 500px

This is one of the answers to questions no one has asked but I imagine someone would if I had readers.

I’ve been a member of Flickr since 2004 and I have over 6700 photos there. But this year I made the decision to switch photo hosting over to 500px. It wasn’t something I did lightly.

A number of my photos are linked to by other websites (though I haven’t recently checked to see if those links still exist) so by dropping my Flickr Pro membership it’s likely those links will go 404. It’s a chance I’m willing to take. I’m still keeping my Flickr account so the photos aren’t going away totally and I can always convert back to Pro if I want.

So why the change? It’s mostly about presentation. Flickr has been through a lot over the years. It was one of the few photo hosting/sharing sites early on and had a certain cachet as a result. But nothing lasts forever.

When Flickr started it had almost no competition and could do whatever it wanted. But that didn’t last. Making things worse was its acquisition by Yahoo. After an early flurry of activity due to the integration of Yahoo photos and profiles, Flickr was left alone. This stagnation made it easier for the competition to catchup and eventually pass Flickr. Like so many early market leaders it became an als0-ran in a market it essentially created.

Eventually, though, Yahoo woke up and realized they needed to do something about Flickr. What followed was a seemingly never-ending stream of changes. Every time you logged into Flickr the interface was different, features added or removed, and so on. This sort of thing is tolerable in a startup but felt out of place on a mature site like Flickr.

It got me to thinking about what I really wanted to do with my photos. Despite my half-hearted aspirations, I am not nor will I ever be a professional. Nevertheless, I would like to showcase my photos with some style. Flickr couldn’t make up its mind whether it wanted to be a photo site or a social media platform. Both are valid choices, but I was looking more towards the former. I just spewed photos at Flickr, without much thought about quality. That was fine, I guess, but I’m no longer of the opinion that’s what I want to do.

I want better presentation now more than I want quantity. For instance, compare a photo on 500px with a photo on Flickr (Flickr is down right now, which says more than I can about their service). I will never post as many photos on 500px but that’s not the point; the ones I do post will be what I consider my best.

There are many other choices out there, this is mine. It may be for you as well or may not be. Find the one you like, the one that does what you want the best, and have fun.

America’s long tradition of fearing refugees

The United States has always been conflicted about immigrants. Ignoring the fact that with the exception of Native Americans, we’re all immigrants. Every single one of us.

When my father’s father went AWOL from the Tsar’s army Poland didn’t exist as a country – having been swallowed up by Prussia, Austria and Russia. He was actually considered a Russian citizen upon arrival here. Just one of thousands of others, Polish and otherwise, who left poverty and oppression in Europe for a chance for a better future in America. They were treated with fear and hatred once they got here but they’re the ones who built this country’s factories and sent their children off to fight in WWII. Now, no one would think twice about them belonging here.

So when Syrians come here to escape Daesh and the civil war in their home country we need to remember that like our own ancestors they are coming here to escape dangers we have never experienced. Let’s not turn them away.

Oh the Places We Won’t Go: Humans Will Settle Mars, and Nowhere Else

Sorry, science fiction fans, traveling to distant stars is indeed fiction, at least for human beings. We will settle Mars but everything beyond that will be explored by robots.

This doesn’t mean there might not be some way to “cheat” the laws of physics as we currently understand them because there might be. But we haven’t found it yet. The lack of interstellar visitors to our own world tend to support the idea that there is no cheat. Of course, to the best of our knowledge we haven’t seen any robots either, so consider this question open for now.

How The Wright Brothers Blew It

In 1905, the Wright Brothers had the only heavier-than-air machine that actually flew. By 1915, their company no longer existed as an independent entity. How The Wright Brothers Blew It is the story of how they abandoned their engineering roots to concentrate on sales and licensing and in the process lost out to their competitors.

One of those competitors was Glenn Curtiss, whose namesake museum I visited last year.

The Zen of BoJack Horseman

If you haven’t heard of it, BoJack Horseman is an animated series on Netflix about an anthropomorphic horse who was a 90s TV star but hasn’t done much since. Beyond that, well, you’ll just have to watch it. There are two seasons so far and it’s fairly easy to binge watch.

BoJack is not a likeable character, yet you’ll probably like him. Why? Because despite his obvious flaws (and that he’s a horse) he’s like all of us. He doesn’t live in the moment, he’s always looking for something that he never manages to find: happiness.

Prestigious medical journals rejected stunning study on deaths among middle-aged whites

The government’s statistics show that the mortality rate for whites between the ages of 45 and 54 with a high school education or less rose dramatically between 1999 and 2013, after falling even more sharply for two decades before that. But when researchers attempted to publish a study on it in the Journal of the AMA and the New England Journal of Medicine both of them rejected the study.

Yes, by its very nature this is potentially a political issue but to ignore it for that reason denies a significant part of the population the chance for help.

The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp

The Life and Death of an Amazon Warehouse Temp is a story about the future of work: low wages, temporary employment, tracking and little in benefits or protections. Is this the best we can do?

Note: Although this particular story is about an Amazon warehouse, this kind of environment is typical across the retail industry. Pretty much everything you buy comes from a warehouse such as this somewhere in the world.